State of the Bills: Defensive Backs

The Buffalo defense has shown to have some holes, especially in recent weeks. One unit that has been a strength for the majority of the season is their secondary. This group has been completely rebuilt over the last two seasons and is one of the league’s best, despite being grossly underrated. Next in line for the State of the Bills series: the defensive backs.

Returners

Tre’Davious White, Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Taron Johnson, Levi Wallace, Rafael Bush, Denzel Rice, Ryan Lewis

Bills Free Agents

Lafayette Pitts, Dean Marlowe

Draft Pulse

Cornerback will be an option every time they are on the clock.

Free Agent Tracker

Kareem Jackson (CB), Jason Verrett (CB), Bradley Roby (CB), Earl Thomas (S), Tyrann Mathieu (S)

Photo of S Jordan Poyer (L) and S Micah Hyde (R) from WKBW.com.

The Bills secondary is led by one of the best safety tandems in the league. Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer were two huge free agent signings in 2017. Despite being veteran leaders in that locker room, both are only 27 years old and likely entering the prime of their careers. On the outside Tre’Davious White is starting to enter that shutdown corner territory. White is a young, aggressive corner whose personality has helped him to become a fan favorite in his short team in Buffalo.

Taron Johnson was another impressive find by the Bills scouting department. Prior to a season ending injury, the fourth-round draft pick had become a stable presence at the nickel cornerback position. It was Taron Johnson coming up to make several big stops in the run game throughout the season. His absence has been noticeable in recent weeks, especially in that area of the game.

The Bills have one glaring hole to fill in this unit, and that would be the number two cornerback position. With that being said, Levi Wallace is staking a claim to that position in recent weeks. The undrafted rookie free agent out of Alabama has been exposed at times, but has otherwise been steady since taking over opposite Tre’Davious White. If nothing else, Wallace should provide some good competition for whoever the Bills decide to bring in this upcoming offseason.

Photo of Sean McDermott (L) and Brandon Beane (R) from buffalonews.com.

Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott will probably think long and hard about adding an elite prospect like Greedy Williams if he is available when Buffalo is on the clock. Fans probably won’t like the decision if that’s the direction they choose to go, but the thought of pairing the former LSU cornerback up with his friend and former teammate Tre White does sound enticing. Good luck throwing against that secondary if Williams is wearing a Bills jersey in 2019.

There may be some better long-term options for Buffalo in free agency, but some of the names above could be intriguing options should they be available later in free agency. Tyrann Mathieu and Earl Thomas are interesting names to watch.

Obviously Buffalo is comfortable with their starting safeties, however, adding either of these two guys would bring more versatility to the Bills lineup. The Bills could be closer to being contenders than their record shows. A big time safety like Mathieu or Thomas would allow Micah Hyde to move all over the field defensively. Additionally, Mathieu possesses some of the same versatility.

This, to me, is one of the most intriguing position groups to watch for the Buffalo Bills this offseason. They don’t have many holes in the secondary, but fans have seen good quarterbacks target this groups weakest players at times throughout the season. It’ll be interesting to see how they choose to address this position in the offseason.

Editor’s babble: Time to start gearing up for free agency and the draft. Thanks to Joe Geniti for helping us sort through the options at defensive back, and all his terrific contributions to our blog. You can find Joe on Twitter @JoeGeniti.

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